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10-19-2013

Thermoforming Machine IC-RDKP 72

At the top of its game, even with difficult-to-form materials such as PP

An IC-RDKP 72 roll-fed automatic thermoforming machine equipped with the new Illig IC control technology (figure: Illig)

At the K2013 booth of Illig Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Heilbronn, Germany, an IC-RDKP 72 with a maximum forming area of 756 mm x 535 mm is on exhibit making sophisticated hinged packs of polypropylene (PP). Using a six-cavity mold, the machine runs at over 30 cycles per minute. PP poses particularly exacting demands on process control due to its semicrystalline material structure, requiring a careful balancing of parameters in all phases, from heating up the material band to de-molding of the thermoformed products. Experience shows that a skilled set-up operator can get approx. 24 cycles per minute out of this technology when forming parts of uniform quality with appropriate repeatability. Now, equipped with Illig's "IC - Intelligent Control Concept", the same thermoforming line yields 25% enhanced productivity, even without any particular expertise on the set-up operator's part. This translates into an additional yield of around 2,100 more marketable trays per hour.

RDKP type thermoformers are roll-fed vacuum and pressure forming machines with separate forming and punching stations. They are employed specifically for making trays and hinged packs of thermoplastic film, mainly of the type used to protect food in transit and on supermarket shelves. Flexible medium-sized and even small production runs – with the attendant frequent changes of material, formats and molds – are common in day-to-day industrial practice. From this perspective, RDKP and RDK thermoforming machines (the latter featuring a combined forming and punching station) benefit substantially from the "dynamic process optimization", "faster mold change" and "compensation of ambient influences" modules forming part of the IC modular system.

The productivity of the thermoforming machine can be leveraged most effectively by means of the "dynamic process optimization" IC module. It relies on a motion control system, not just to coordinate the machine's operating sequences but also to match all movements harmoniously within the entire production line. Moreover, parallel movements can thus be optimized wherever they occur and can be utilized to reduce cycle times. It is this automatic optimization process built into IC machines to which the IC-RDKP 72 shown forming hinged PP packs at this year's K Show owes its high productivity increase of approx. 25% over a manually set machine.

Company profile

ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG

Robert-Bosch-Str. 10
DE 74081 Heilbronn
Tel.: 07131 505-0
Fax: 07131 505-303

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